Interview – meet Nicky Peacock #UrbanFantasy #ParanormalRomance #Horror #author

Meet fellow urban fantasy author Nicky Peacock

I’ve had a fun time interviewing fellow UK urban fantasy author Nicky Peacock, who also writes paranormal romance and horror. She has a ton of short stories published in a variety of anthologies, and her novel BAD BLOOD (vampires and zombies) was released last month by Evernight Teen.

use1

Here’s what Nicky has to say about herself:

I guess I’ve always been a storyteller, not in a ‘liar liar pants on fire’ kind of way, although I do work in advertising! When I was little, kids would crowd around me in the playground and I’d tell them tales of blood soaked horror filled with vampires, werewolves, ghosts and more. Yes, most would consider me a disturbed child, but my playmates couldn’t help themselves, they’d huddle around me every break time like an ancient tribe feeding off the fear; and that’s how I learned that horror stories hold a certain power, no matter what some might say, everyone is addicted to a good scare, especially if it is somewhat rooted safely in unrealistic beings… or are they unrealistic?

Writing was really a natural progression. Right now I’m obsessed with writing: a YA Urban Fantasy novel, a Paranormal Romance novella series, and several short horror stories! So I’m currently living in a functional fiction coma – and loving it!

I’ve so far been published in 5 countries: USA, UK, Australia, Ireland and Canada and had short stories included in 40 anthologies with over 17 publishers.

What  inspired you to write your first story?

My very first short story was when I was 7 years old and it was about an evil scarecrow – I can’t really remember what inspired me to write it, although it’s not a surprising story to spring forth from my dark little mind! My first story that I had accepted for publication however, was for a Vampires! An Anthology through Dark Moon Books. They challenged writers to come up with a different type of vampire story, so I wrote ‘Fountain of Flesh’ which featured a vampire as a passive catalyst, rather than an active participant in the sinister events which unfold.

You’ve had a lot of short stories published, but did you publish the first novel that you wrote?

My first ever completed novel, Bad Blood is published through Evernight Teen and was the first novel I’d ever finished. I’d started many in the past, but either lost heart or interest before finishing them – I have a terribly short attention span at times!
Tell us a bit about your process – plotter or pantser, edit as you go or after?
I tend to plot the basic story, so I know what I need to write to achieve it, but I do write the scenes out of order, that way I’m writing the bits that I’m passionate about first. I edit bits as I go, I tend to read back over the last 10 pages or so before I start writing again to get me back into the characters. I also edit everything a few times at the end too. I have an anal 7 step editing process to ensure I don’t mess up. So each round of edits is looking for something different: tenses, consistency, grammar etc.
What preparation did you do before you took the plunge and published your first novel?
Apart from the writing process itself, there wasn’t much prep. Approaching publishers is really down to reading their submission process and sending what they are asking for. We’ll never know how many great novels went unpublished because the writer sent the wrong stuff to the publishers and it didn’t get read!
Why are you drawn towards the genre/s you write? Is there a particular book you read that influenced you to write in one particular genre?
I write in a number of allied genres: paranormal romance, urban fantasy and horror. Normal is boring to me and if I tried to write a contemporary piece of fiction I’d get bored too easily. I read a lot of horror books growing up, but I was specifically inspired by the beautifully visceral prose of Poppy Z Brite.
How does writing fit into your daily life? Do you set a daily word count or just write when the muse takes you?
I think setting a daily word count makes writing more of a job, and when you do that the love can be eaten away. You have to be really dedicated to write nowadays, because the effort doesn’t just stop when you sign that publishing deal – you have to promote your work too.
What advice can you give to writers just starting out (a) to write their first novel and (b) when they first publish.
Starting out – find a local writer’s group – I run one in Northamptonshire and I think that spending regular time with people who have the same goal as you can not only inspire but also motivate you. Writing is an occupation fraught with rejection, and if you don’t learn to take it well, you’ll give up too quickly. Also, learn how to write by actually writing – the reason I had so many short stories published was that they not only kick started my career, but I learnt the art of writing by doing them. For being published, research the publisher before you submit to ensure that they are solid and have a good reputation, then join The Society of Authors and take advantage of their contract checking service. After that, keep an open dialogue with your editor and publisher.
You run a writer’s group – tell us about the value of working with such a group.
Well, it can be really easy for people to say they are ‘writers’ and not actually do any writing, so having a group of people you belong to who want to read your work and see you succeed keeps you on the straight and narrow. Personally, as I run the group, I try harder with my own writing career to kind of lead from the front. If I can do it, they can do it.
How do you handle marketing?
My day job is in marketing and advertising, so fortunately I’ve got the skill-set and experience to keep my head above water there. Blogs/ websites are really important and having a presence on social media too – although you have to watch out, spending all your time on these means you’re not actually writing – so you’ll have nothing to actually promote!
Quick questions
1.      Star sign : Sagittarius
2.      Pets? none at the moment, although I did have a dog (he died a few years ago)
3.      Favourite paranormal creature: Hmmm, tough one – I’d go old school and say vampire, they can be both heroes and villains.
4.      Places you’d like to visit: It’s an odd one, but I’d really like to visit the Galleries of Justice Museum in Nottingham. I’ve heard good things and, as a writer, I think the experience might be inspiring.
5.      Favourite food: I do enjoy a good Chinese meal.
6.      Favourite book: sooo many to list – although a personal favourite of mine is ‘A Certain Slant of Light’ by Laura Whitcomb.
7.      Next up on your reading list? Delirium by Lauren Oliver
8.      Favourite TV series: I’m loving ‘The Strain’ on Watch at the moment and am looking forward to the return of ‘The Walking Dead’ and ‘American Horror: Freak Show’.

Let’s hear a bit more about BAD BLOOD

bad-blood2

Synopsis:

“I am Britannia. I am your protector. I will fend off the hungry hordes of undead hands that reach toward you. I am your steadfast defender. I will stand between you and the zombie masses as they try to taste your flesh. I am strong, unyielding, and dedicated to your survival. All I ask from you… is your blood.” 

A five-hundred-year-old bloody game of vengeance will need to be put on hold if vampires are to survive the zombie uprising. Britannia and Nicholas, bitter enemies and the only two surviving vampires left in London, have to work together to save un-infected humans and deliver them safely to a vampire stronghold in the Scottish Highlands. Unable to drink the zombie ‘bad blood’, the remaining vampires need the humans to stay alive. But will the vampires tell the survivors who they are and what they want from them? Will Britannia be able to hold back her vengeance for the greater good? Is survivor Josh the reincarnation of Britannia’s murdered true love? And can she bring herself to deliver him to the ‘safe’ hold? Survival instincts run deep, but bad blood can run deeper.

Excerpt

We ran to the hospital. On the way, we encountered hardly anyone, alive or dead. Where were they all? When we arrived at the hospital car park, I understood. Zombies were pack animals. A massive crowd of them were crammed in and around the main building like they were waiting for a concert to start, all barely paying attention to their surroundings and seemingly swaying against the force of gravity. The other thing was the smell. When watching horror films filled with shuffling zombies, the horror came from their ghastly looks—the reminder that death has a tight grip on us all, well, most of us. But what the filmmakers should focus on—if they could—was the acidic rank odor zombies gave off. They had been dead barely twenty-four hours. It took a normal human body at least thirty-six hours to really start to smell, and that was with a vampire’s heightened senses. These guys smelled like they’d been out in the sun for three weeks covered in rubbish and besieged by wily maggots. They were mostly intact, though. Maybe this hospital had been Zombie Ground Zero. Most had turned so quickly their comrades hadn’t had time to feed.

“Maybe we should try a less populated target.” Nicholas twitched his nose and turned away from me to dry retch.

“Maybe you should grow a pair.”

“Maybe you should act like a lady.” He now had his hands on his hips, squaring up for yet another argument.

“Acting like a lady isn’t going to help now, is it? What do you want me to do? Drop my handkerchief in front of the zombies and watch them fight one another to scoop it up for me? Moron!”

“Always to the ‘nth degree with you, isn’t it?”

“Shut up. Look, the doors are holding, and they’re outside, not inside, which means there must be some people left in there alive to have barricaded this place so tight.”

“Or maybe there are just more zombies in there.”

“Well, there’s definitely a blood bank in there, and that’ll help matters no end!”

Nicholas looked thoughtful then nodded. He of course didn’t want to actually say aloud that I’d had a good idea. “So, how do we get past them?”

I assumed it was a rhetorical question, so I started down to the car park entrance, where most of the zombies were mobbing. I opened the outer door as quietly as possible.

“Ladies first,” Nicholas whispered in my ear.

“I thought we’d agreed I wasn’t a lady.” And with that, I shoved him as hard as I could into the throbbing throng of zombies.

Buy links:

Amazon UK       Amazon US      Evernight Teen

And finally, where can we find out more about you, Nicky?

My Amazon author page has all my published and available work listed here

Other links:

Blog: http://nickypeacockauthor.wordpress.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/nickyp_author

Face Book Page: https://www.facebook.com/NickyPeacockYaBooks

Good Reads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/list/4958833.Nicky_Peacock

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/nickypauthor/

Tumblr: http://nickypeacock.tumblr.com/

Thanks Nicky!

 

Advertisements

One comment

  1. […] I had fun interviewing Nicky at the tail end of 2014, when she released the first in the series, Bad Blood. You can find that interview here. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: